SE Fresno mixed-use project to bring 151 apartments to market price

A group spins the dirt Wednesday at the Jensen Landing development in southeast Fresno. Photo by Edward Smith

published on July 27, 2022 – 14:19
Written by Edward Smith

A new mixed-use development promises to be the first of its kind for Southeast Fresno. And though the process took nearly three years, developers and city officials are confident it checks several boxes of what the community needs.

San Jose-based BDM Builders partners along with Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer and Fresno City Councilman Luis Chavez broke ground on Wednesday at Jensen Landing, a mixed-use development at the northeast corner of Jensen and Maple Avenues. .

Where the vacant 12-acre lot sits, builders plan to build a 151-unit market-priced apartment complex with a bank, daycare, restaurants, doctors’ offices, gas station and Starbucks.

BDM Builders partner Harry Dhillon speaks at a press conference on Wednesday. Photo by Edward Smith

“Looking at the amenities included in the design, this will truly be a one-of-a-kind mixed-use development in southeast Fresno,” Dyer said.

To be a project that the municipal authorities wanted, the approval process took more than three years.

It started in 2019 after developers picked up the site, said BDM Builders partner Harry Dhillon. Dhillon expects to be completed within the next three years.

The lot was originally zoned commercial, and in order to rezone it to accommodate multiple uses, Chavez said he asked the developers to meet with members of the Calwa community.

Their first meeting was at Calwa Elementary, across from the site.

Chavez said in those meetings they determined where the housing should go on the plot, as well as what kind of businesses the community wanted.

The developers held about 150 meetings — private and public — to get Jensen Landing to this stage, according to project consultant Nick Yovino, partner at California Land Consultants.

“It was a very complicated project,” Yovino said. “It took everything – plan modification, rezoning, site plan and conditional use permit, plot plan, comprehensive CEQA reviews, traffic studies, neighborhood meetings, planning commission, land use commission of the airport.”

Market-rate housing construction also helps attract tenants to the area, Dhillon said.

“For us, the main thing was to attract the ecosystem, to attract all these tenants, whether it was the ARCOs, the Starbucks, the Burger Kings of the world,” he added.

Chavez said what they wanted was a “20-minute neighborhood” where people can get what they need in one place.

“We’re raising the bar for what these types of developments should look like,” Dyer said.

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